Biggest Loser contestants give tips, recipes on shedding weight

Published: Tuesday, June 21 2011 6:00 p.m. MDT

3. "Interval training really revs up your metabolism," Hill said. "Here's something I learned from our trainer, Brett Hoebel, when you are on a stationery bike: Pedal at a high wattage (high intensity) as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then pedal at a low wattage for 30 seconds. Repeat this 10 times, for a total of 10 minutes. Then bike at a normal pace for five minutes before repeating the 30-second intervals for 10 more minutes."

4. Cross train. "Mix things up!" said Hill. "I like to take different classes at the South Davis Rec Center and Skills Fitness, such as Zumba, spinning, step, Body Jam and Body Pump. If you can't afford a personal trainer, go to classes. They are almost as good as having a personal trainer."

5. Find a walking partner. "It makes your walks so much more fun when you're with someone to talk to!"

6. Don't shy away from the gym because you think you're too heavy. "That's what the fitness center is there for. I was so intimidated going to a gym, but they are for heavy people, not just people who are already in shape. Find one that will show you how to use the machines and give you a program to follow, so you don't get intimidated."

7. Keep healthy foods on hand so you don't succumb to fast food. While she was competing at home, Hill received weekly deliveries of The Biggest Loser Meal Plan by eDietgs, a gift given to all of the contestants.

"I didn't use them all the time, because I like to have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables," she said. "But it really helped once in awhile when I didn't have time to cook for myself and I was dashing out the door."

She developed a Black Bean and Quinoa Salad that is hearty, satisfying and packed with nutrition. Quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) is a grain-like seed which has a high protein content.

Hill also learned to make flatbread wraps filled with either the salad, or a lean protein. She adds guacamole ("avocado is a good fat") and a yogurt dip, and packs it with lots of veggies.

To satisfy that sweet tooth, Hill devised a treat using a low-fat bran cracker spread with fat-free cream cheese and spreadable fruit. "This is as good as cheesecake to me!" Hill contends.

The Utah raspberry grower, Cornaby's, makes stevia-sweetened fruit spreads that are 10 calories per tablespoon. "It's the best spreadable fruit I've ever tasted," said Hill. "You can buy it at Macey's." You can also find it at www.cornabys.com.

Sarah's tips

1. "Keep moving! Walk even between workouts. When in doubt, walk!"

2. "No injury should ever stop you from exercising. There are always modifications that can be made."

3. "Every excuse is a choice to fail! That's the famous Sarah Nitta quote! You have to be honest with yourself and realize the excuses that you are making. Then cut them out and get to work."

4. "Don't be afraid of the weights, ladies! The more muscle you have the better your fat-burning engine!"

5. "Drink LOTS of water! Water is necessary to break down fat, so drink up!"

6. "Carbs are your friend! But better in the morning and early afternoon."

7. "Always couple a carbohydrate with a protein when you eat. If you are going to eat an apple, eat a string cheese with it."

8. "You have to eat to lose weight. Don't skip a meal."

9. "The greener the better! Eat lots if fruits and veggies."

10. "Become an intuitive eater. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. But you must listen to your body!"

Justin's tips

1. Be accountable with your food. "That's the first thing I do when people come to my class. I say 'I don't care how many calories you eat, I just want you to write them down every day.' After a while, you start making decisions such as, 'Oh, I don't want to eat that because it has so many calories in it, I'd rather have this instead.' Making a choice based on that accountability is when I made my turnaround."

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